Eclipse: The Shamanic Adept Level One Build

   Our next level one Eclipse classless d20 character is a Shamanic Adept, capable of making pacts with spirits and calling on them for a very wide variety of magical favors indeed – but only able to renew those resources with time and service to the spirits he or she invokes. In a reverse of the usual pattern for a spellcaster, this build (presuming a good Charisma stat) starts off with a fair number of spell levels available to work with, as well as the ability to work whatever spell they want within the limits of the types of spirits they have pacts with – but will find those reserves both quickly depleted during an adventure and very slow to increase. A wise Shamanic Adept will invest heavily in other abilities as their level increases. As usual for the generic base designs, no particular sex, race, or origin has been selected. Their “Duties” usually involve carrying out numerous ceremonies, attending to the spiritual needs of the populace, and driving out evil spirits.

   Disadvantages: (Select three for 10 CP), and

   Duties (to a feudal overlord, school, deity, faith, or whatever, +2 CP/Level).

   Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Str 8, Int 14, Wis 12, Con 10, Dex 8, Chr 18 (28 point buy).

   Basic Purchases (30 CP)

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP)
  • +12 Skill Points (12 CP)
  • +2 on Will Saves (6 CP)
  • d10 Hit Die (6 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP)

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Adept: Diplomacy, Knowledge/Religion, Gather Information, and Use Magic Device (6 CP).
  • Reflex Training Specialized in Magical Actions for Double Effect: May take an extra action outside of the normal sequence six times per day. The spirits will often help a Shaman without his direct call, providing a favor that they knew he was going to ask for anyway (6 CP).
  • Shamanic Magic Package (24 CP Total):
    • Privilege/Blessing of the Spirits: A shaman may ritually request that the spirits watch over a target. This lasts for at least a year, and often permanently, but is too subtle for game mechanics. A fallen candle may quietly snuff itself, rather then starting a fire, in a blessed house. Fields yield more, suffering less from pests and weather. Children are healthier, have fewer and milder accidents, and are far more likely to reach adulthood. Farm animals have more offspring, spinning thread snags less often, and artists are more inspired. The scale of the ritual depends on the scale of the blessing; kids only take a minute, a city might take a three-day festival honoring the relevant spirits. As there are always kids, flocks, infertile couples, marriages, etc, in need of blessings, Shamans can usually expect a welcome anywhere. (3 CP).
    • Major Privilege/May arrange a peaceful (or terrible) passing and a smooth transition into a (desirable or undesirable) afterlife or superior (inferior) reincarnation for those under his care or for spirits who wish to pass on – or who have been forcibly banished. The Shaman has power over the spirits of the dying and the dead, whether to bind, guide, or release them into the otherworlds. He stands at the gates of death, directing those who pass through. (6 CP).
    • Shapeshift: The Shaman may call on the animal spirits to grant him their forms and powers. Given that the spirits of the natural world are closer and more easily reached than other spirits, but this still requires the use of some token – a feather, bit of bone, or other item linked with the appropriate animal (Corrupted, 4 CP).
    • Path of the Dragon/Shaping (Specialized: only as a prerequisite, 3 CP)
    • Path of the Dragon/Pulse and Heart of the Dragon: The shaman may make pacts with, and call upon the services of many different types of spirits, channeling their powers into the physical world. Pulse of the Dragon brings in one spell level worth of magical energy per round, while Heart of the Dragon allows it to be shaped into level one effects. Corrupted: The user must call on spirits for magic other than Spirit Sight and Spirit Contact effects. He or she may designate up to (Cha Mod + Level/2, 12 maximum) specific entities or general types of spirits to call on for appropriate types of magic, but each type may only be called on for a total of (Cha Mod + Level/2) spell levels worth of magic before the user must rebuild his or her “pool” of “favors”. Fortunately, if the user fails to manage a spell for some reason, it doesn’t use up any of his pool of favors. Specialized: The user may only renew such “pools” slowly. The user regains [Cha Mod + Level/2] points per day through minor rituals and respect for their spiritual patrons. They user may also regain [Cha Mod] points by:
      • Fulfilling a special request from the Spirits. For example, fire spirits might want the user to arrange a fireworks display, while water spirits might want a spring cleaned out and purified. The user may simply ask the GM each day about possible tasks; there will usually be two or three available, but there’s no guarantee that any of them will be even remotely practical.
      • Enacting a ritual in honor of some type of spirits. You might sit out in a storm meditating on it’s power for a night in honor of the air spirits, burn rare woods, incense, and oils in honor of the fire spirits, or conduct a religious ceremony in honor of outer-planar spirits.
      • Promising to undertake a later mission for the appropriate group of spirits. It’s wise to take a few rounds to find out what they’re going to want you to do, but sometimes people are just desperate.
      • Talking the spirits into it. This requires 1d4 hours of quiet meditation and a DC 18 Diplomacy or Knowledge/Religion check and can only be done once per day.
    • In any case, the saving throw DC’s against such effects are based on the shaman’s Charisma and they overcome magic resistance with a roll of (1d20 + caster level + Cha Mod). Exorcisms (“Turning”) are L2, creating minor supplies costs 1 SL/2 GP and is permanent, and counterspells are always specifically tuned, requiring a spell of only (target spell level – 2).
    • This has a base cost of 24 CP, 8 CP after being Specialized and Corrupted to reduce the cost. As the character goes up in level he or she can spend another 8 CP to turn the Specilization from “Halved Cost” to “Doubled Effect” and call on the spirits for second level spells – and still later, another 8 CP to turn the Corrupted modifier from “Reduced Cost” to “1.5x Effect” and get third level spells. Unfortunately, after that point, the costs will increase sharply – and the character would run through his or her favor pools at a dreadful rate.

   For some sample spirit types (at least in one world):

  • Air spirits deal with Intelligence, Movement, Thought, and Divination.
  • Animal spirits deal with Shapeshifting, Enhancements, Senses, and Adaption.
  • Celestial spirits deal with Charisma, Purification, Truth, and Life.
  • Darkness spirits deal with Strength, Negation, Death, Compulsion.
  • Earth spirits deal with Constitution, Plants, Healing, Binding, and Stasis.
  • Fire spirits deal with Dexterity, Light, Energy, and Transformation.
  • Infernal spirits deal with Destruction, Compulsion, Corruption, and Death.
  • Metal spirits deal with War, Illusion, Fortune, and Travel.
  • Water spirits deal with Wisdom, Animals, Absorption, and Emotion.

   Skill Points: 8 (Int) + 12 (CP Spent) = 20.  Eight should be spent to maxamize his Adept skills (Diplomacy, Knowledge/Religion, Gather Information, and Use Magic Device), another four would be best spent on a defensive Martial Art (since this character has few defenses otherwise), and the remaining eight should be spent to suit the campaign.

   The Shamanic Adept is an extraordinarily flexible spellcaster, and is quite powerful at lower levels – but will never achieve massive magical abilities. Their reserves of “Favors” will simply never stretch to cover such effects. Further advancement is likely to involve mastering skills, picking up contacts, favors, and minor special powers, and dabbling in personal magic, such as illusions.

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